Is your blog pulling you down?
You started to blog, full of enthusiasm, but soon you found you’re falling behind with your planned publishing schedule. Sound familiar? I’m as guilty of that scenario as anyone.
It’s all very well, being told to publish according to a carefully considered blogging spreadsheet. Having one is laudable but not keeping up with the content schedule can lead to feelings of failure, resulting in lack of motivation. Has that happened to you?
I deal with a variety of businesses and I can honestly say there isn’t one who hasn’t been affected, at some time or another, by getting bogged down by their blog.
It’s not that my clients don’t appreciate the value of blogging for business, or have topics they could write about; the problem is all too often about finding the time to get ideas out of heads and onto the screen!
Ways to escape the blogging bog
If you feel you’re in one, a bit of a blogging bog I mean, can I suggest trying the following low-tech solution. NB Before I continue I will just say that this could be a little bit scary for those who spend so much time inputting online data with a digit that they’re losing the ability to write.
Firstly, set yourself up with a pad of paper and a pen. Yes, I mean actually indulge in doing some handwriting. The spiral bound reporter-type pads are my choice for this job because you can tear off ‘rubbish’ pages easily, avoiding loads of scribbling/crossing out.
Secondly keep the pad and pen where you tend to let your mind wander, by the sink, the kettle, by the sofa, on the loo!
Thirdly, don’t aim to write any more than a few words, or a short sentence at a time. Often the physical action of writing will spur the mind to think more about the ideas you’ve noted.
Blog title ideas
- Consider 3 questions your customers are most likely seeking answers about, then turn them into blog titles. For example ‘Questions to ask when you need a new website’ or ‘What sort of website hosting is best?’
- Tell a story about a problem you helped solve for a customer. It could be a fictitious person, but the point is you’re explaining how what you can help. People love stories and they’re often more likely to be shared around on social media networks.
- 10 tips, 5 or even 3 tips can provide you with a structure on which to hand some helpful information for potential customers. Yes, I know there’s a lot of these kind of blog posts around, which isn’t a good enough reason to steer away from using the same format.
- Consider the ‘top tips’ format a tried and tested recipe and don’t be afraid to use it, because it may well improve your blogs potential for social sharing. NB If you’re not worried about your blogs potential for social sharing, you should be!
Read what other people are writing about
If you use an RSS reader, subscribe to industry-related blogs and see what other people are writing about. You may find they help you come up with titles, if not actual content ideas.
If you don’t use an RSS reader, or don’t even understand what one is, no matter. Instead, take one of your ‘question’ title ideas and put it into a Google search box and see what’s returned. You may well find some ideas to build on from reading other people’s website/blog content. NB. Don’t copy/paste chunks of text or you’ll be penalized for creating ‘duplicate content’.
You could consider spending an hour a week, broken down into 4 x 15 minute slots if need be, reading what other people have written about on blog platforms such as StumbleUpon.
More blogging ideas?
This is where you come in. What do you do, have you done that’s helped you keep up with writing blog posts?
Perhaps an obvious answer to not getting bogged down by your blog is to get someone else to do it for you. Great idea, if you’ve got the funds available. However, you’ve still got to come up with the blog post titles, which is often the hardest part.
There are some fantastic content creation solutions on the market too, but they will require often fairly considerable funding, month on month. OK, it’s a chicken and egg thing, but I’m still not convinced that many small businesses are likely to enjoy a satisfactory ROI (return on investment).
I’ve been working in the web content industry for a number of years now, enough to know the day-to-day realities of trying to ‘keep up’ for most people. I’d be really interested to hear about your experiences of blogging, good and not so good. Leave a comment in the box below. Know what they say about a problem shared?
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